Kenya Aquatica

KCSAP Project

Dr. James Kairo

Dr. James Kairo

James Gitundu Kairo initiated his university career at the University of Nairobi in Kenya; where he obtained BSc and MSc in Biology. He then obtained a PhD at the University of Brussels (Belgium) on the theme of ecology and restoration of mangrove systems.  Dr Kairo is currently a Chief Scientists at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute; and coordinator of mangrove research program in Kenya. 

Kairo has vast working experience on the conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable utilization coastal and marine resources, which has earned him several national and international awards. In 2010, Dr Kairo was awarded the Kenya’s Presidential Award of the ‘Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) for his contribution in the advancement of marine conservation in the country.  

Dr Kairo is currently serving the global community as the member of Scientific Working Group on Blue Carbon; as well as the coordinating author of the IPCC’s special report on oceans and cryosphere (SROCC.

KMFRI Shimoni/Gazi
Oceanography and Hydrography
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions, Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems, Sustainable Development, Ecology and Restoration of Mangrove Systems, management planning, climate change.

PhD (VUB, Belgium), Marine Resources Management 
MSc (UoN, Kenya). Plant Biology 
BSc (UoN, Kenya). Plant Biology

  • 2017       Githaiga MN, Kairo JG, Gilpin L, Huxham M (2017) Carbon storage in the seagrass meadows of Gazi Bay, Kenya. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177001.
  • 2017       Frank Celine;. James. G. Kairo; Mohamed O. S. Mohamed, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas, Nico Koedam (2017); Involvement, knowledge and perception in a natural reserve under participatory management: Mida Creek, Kenya.  Ocean & Coastal Management, 142(15) 28 – 36.
  • 2017       Geraldina Signa,  Antonio Mazzola, James Kairo,  and Salvatrice Vizzini, (2017). Small-scale variability in geomorphological settings influences mangrove-derived organic matter export in a tropical bay. Biogeosciences, 14, 617-629.
  • 2016       Gress, S. K., M. Huxham, J.G. Kairo, L. M. Mugi, and R. A. Briers. 2016. Evaluating, predicting and mapping belowground carbon stores in Kenyan mangroves. Global Change Biology (2016), doi:10.1111/gcb.13438
  • 2016       Githaiga, M. N., L. Gilpin, J.G. Kairo, M.Huxham (2016) Biomass and productivity of seagrasses in Africa 2016. Botanica Marina. 59, (2-3), 173–186, DOI: 10.1515/bot-2015-0075
  • Robert, E. M. R., J. Oste, T. Van der Stocken, D. J.R. De Ryck, ?K. Quisthoudt, J. G. Kairo, F. Dahdouh-Guebas, N. Koedam, N. Schmitz, 2015. Viviparous mangrove propagules of Ceriops tagal and Rhizophora mucronata, where both Rhizophoraceae show different dispersal and establishment strategies. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 468 (2015) 45–54
  • 2015       Huxham, M.  L. Emerton, J. Kairo,  F.,  Munyi, H. Abdirizak,  T. Muriuki, F., Nunan, R. A. Briers, 2015, Applying Climate Compatible Development and economic valuation to coastal management: A case study of Kenya's mangrove forests.  Journal of Environmental Management. 157: 168–181
  • 2014       Locatelli, T., Binet, T., Kairo, J. G. King, L., Madden, S., Patenaude, G., Upton, C., & Huxham, M., 2014. Turning the Tide: How Blue Carbon and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) Might Help Save Mangrove Forests. Ambio. 43 (8), 981 – 995.
  • Bosire, J. O; J. J. Kaino, A. O. Olagoke, L. M. Mwihaki, G. M. Ogendi, J. G. Kairo, U. Berger, & D. Macharia, 2014. Mangroves in peril: unprecedented degradation rates of peri-urban mangroves in Kenya.  Biogeosciences 05/2014; 11:2623–2634.
  • Di Nitto, D.; G. Neukermans, N. Koedam, H. Defever, F. Pattyn, J. G. Kairo, F. Dahdouh-Guebas, 2014. Mangroves facing climate change: landward migration potential in response to projected scenarios of sea level rise. Biogeosciences 02/2014; 11(857-871).
  • Robert. E. M, Abudhabi H Jambia, Nele Schmitz, Dennis J R De Ryck, Johan De Mey, James G Kairo, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas, Hans Beeckman, Nico Koedam 2014, How to catch the patch? A dendrometer study of the radial increment through successive cambia in the mangrove Avicennia. Annals of Botany DOI:10.1093/aob/mcu001
  • R Cohen, J Kaino, J A Okello, J O Bosire, J G Kairo, M Huxham, M Mencuccini, 2013. Propagating uncertainty to estimates of above-ground biomass for Kenyan mangroves: A scaling procedure from tree to landscape level q. Forest Ecology and Management. DOI:10.1016/j.
  • Hijbeek, R.; Koedam, N.; Khan, N. I; Kairo, J.G.; Schoukens, J.;  Dahdouh-Guebas, F., 2013. An evaluation of  plotless sampling using vegetation simulations and field data from a mangrove forest. PLos One 8(6): e67201.doi:10.1371/jounal.pone.0067201.
  • 2012       Lang’at JKS, Kirui BKY, Skov MW, Kairo JG, Mencuccini M, Huxham M. (2012). Species mixing boosts root production of mangrove trees. Oecologia, DOI 10.1007/s00442-012-2490-x
  • 2012       Kirui, B.Y.K; J. G. Kairo, M. W.  Skov, M. Mencuccini, M. Huxham. 2012. Effects of species richness, identity and environmental variables on growth in planted mangroves in Kenya. Mar.  Ecol.  Prog.  Ser.  465: 1–10.
  • 2012       Kirui, K.B., J. G. Kairo, J. Bosire, K. M. Viegever, S. Rudra, M. Huxham, R. A. Briers, 2012. Mapping of mangrove forest land cover change along the Kenya coastline using Landsat imagery, Ocean & Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2011.12.004
  • 2010       Wang’ondu, V. W; J. G. Kairo, J. I. Kinyamario, F. B. Mwaura, J. O. Bosire2, F. Dahdouh-­?Guebas, and N. Koedam, 2010. Phenology of Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. in a Disjunctly-­?zoned Mangrove Stand in Kenya. Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci. 9 (2):135-144,
  • Kairo, J. G.; J. Bosire, J. Langat, B. Kirui, and N. Koedam, 2009. Allometry and biomass distribution in replanted mangrove plantations at Gazi Bay, Kenya. Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst.  DOI: 10.1002/aqc.1046
  • Kairo, J. G., Lang’at, J. K. S., Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Bosire, J. O and Karachi, M (2008). Structural Development and Productivity of Replanted Mangrove Plantations in Kenya. Forest Ecology and Management 255: 2670 -2677 

Prizes and Awards

The Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS): Conferred on 12th Dec. 2010; by His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya, in recognition of the distinguished services I have rendered to my Country in the areas of marine conservation

National Heroic Award: Awarded by Kenya’s Ministry of Fishery Development, on the Occasion to mark World Ocean Day, Mombasa. The award was in recognition of my contribution in the advancement of mangrove conservation in Kenya.

WIOMSA Fellowship Award: Awarded by the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association WIOMSA) in recognition of my contribution to the advancement of marine science in the region (visit: for details of the award and nomination)

WWF-Practitioner Fellow: Awarded by Alcoa Foundation’s Conservation and Sustainability Program to undertake research on productivity of replanted mangrove forests in Kenya (see web for details of nomination:

International Cooperation Prize - Awarded by the Belgian government in recognition of the relevance of my work in promoting international development cooperation and sustainable development (see web for details of nomination: